From seed to harvest, there are a few best practices when growing cannabis to its highest degree. Over time, growers have fine-tuned environments, nutrients, curing, packaging and testing to deliver top shelf bud to now legal consumers. Far more potent than the underground marijuana of the past.
So, what makes certain weed better than the rest? To most, it’s high potency, flavorful aromas or taste and smooth hits.
From technology advancements to trials and successes, let’s take a look at what separates the best from the rest in the cannabis industry today.
Sowing & growing
Research and insight has shown, to produce superior flower, it starts from the plant’s beginning stage of life. And this begins, with top-shelf genetics or seeds.
Beyond any best practices, or heightened growth tactics, you can’t fight the genes you’re growing. For high quality bud, proven lineage matters. Beginning with the right strain can set a plant up for success from the start. Whether a clone, or seed, cannabis from reputable breeders overall grows the best in the end.
As indoor growing expands to larger scales, so do the benefits from doing so, too. From the trials of testing potency and grading for top shelf stance, indoor bud reins supreme.
By having 100% control of the plant’s environment, like lights, air and temperature, growers can better manage the end result or yield versus outdoor unknowns.
While growing enhancements like hydroponics, soil, nutrient types and intakes are highly debated among the growing community, certain steps in an indoor environment can increase terpene count. This leads to better aromas and tastes for your final end product. Maintaining proper air temperatures and humidity are showing to improve terpene count, overall.
Time for a cure
The process of drying and curing buds for their final appearance, is crucial in making cannabis ‘better’ or ‘good’. No matter the time it takes to grow the plant to full maturity, 50% of its final presentation happens in this stage of life.
Curing properly can enhance taste, smell, density, and potency of the final pot product. It can also reduce harshness while hitting, delivering that smooth smoke every marijuana user craves.
Terpenes and potency levels can degrade at certain temperatures. A slow cure at mild temperatures is recommended to preserve these aromatic compounds, for better bud. In addition, this will diminish minerals and sugars produced by chlorophyll during drying. These leftover compounds is what causes harsh smoking, common in other ‘lesser’ grade cannabis.
To further prepare cannabis for top shelf standards, curing and storing properly comes next. Enter, the infamous mason jar. Most cannabis is kept in jars, in an area with 60% humidity for 1-2 weeks. Opening the jars everyday, to allow air in, and to check for any signs of mold or degradation.
Packaging & testing
For long term storage or packaging, the best of buds are stored in air-tight containers, in cool and dry areas. Properly curing and storing cannabis can help retain potency for years, alone. If the cannabis is planning to be stored long-term, or prepared for extraction sake, vacuum sealing nugs in freezer bags is often the choice of top growers and processors.
Testing with transparent results, is what also makes the best stand out from the rest. Testing cannabis provides levels of potency, like percentages of THC, ratios of CBD:THC and total cannabinoids present. It also measures levels of chemicals, contamination, microbials and heavy metals. These substances can be present in the plant’s growing stage, from soil or nutrients, and will raise red flags when tested.
Additional screenings that deliver unique profiles of terpenes and cannabinoids, can be done to set top quality cannabis, apart, too. This includes results showing major beneficial terpenes along with THCA, THCV, CBD, CBDA, CBG, CBC, CBN, among others.